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Preview: Justice League #22

Justice League #22

(W) James Tynion IV (A/CA) Francis Manapul
In Shops: Apr 17, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The Multiverse is teetering on the brink, and Lex Luthor’s Legion of Doom is poised for victory. But as the combined intellects of Brainiac and the world’s smartest man make their move toward conquering the keys to the sixth dimension, a much bigger power grows on the horizon. At last, the final form of Perpetua takes her shape, and the DCU will never be the same again!

Justice League #22

DC’s Year of the Villain #1 Ups the Summer Heat

Comic book fans know that Summer can bring the occasional heat wave, but DC plans to keep it hot all Summer long and into the fall as more details are revealed about DC’S Year of the Villain #1, the $0.25 one-shot that hits comic book shops May 1 and sets the stage for several major story arcs by some of DC’s most celebrated writers and artists.

JUSTICE LEAGUE

In DC’s Year of the Villain #1 written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by Jim Cheung, Lex Luthor has decided once and for all that heroism is a false dream and for man to ascend to his place in the universe, he must embrace his basest, most evil instincts. But this means making an incredible sacrifice to achieve his goal and gain the support of Perpetua, the first being to be imprisoned within the Source Wall, now freed from the events of Dark Nights: Metal.

Beginning with June’s issue #25, Luthor’s plans begin to crystalize in a “prelude” story co-written by Snyder and Tynion with art by Javi Fernandez. In July, he makes “The Offer” to some of the DC Universe’s most noteworthy characters; he alone holds the key to them realizing their full potential. This kicks off an epic event taking over 2019, setting the stage for an all-out clash between the forces of Justice and Doom:

  • July –  Year of the Villain: The Offer
  • August – Year of the Villain: Dark Gifts
  • September – Year of the Villain: Evil Unleashed
  • October – Year of the Villain: Doom Rising

Luthor’s influence spreads across the DCU with a select number of titles carrying a themed “Year of the Villain” banner featuring a haunting image of a Lex Luthor that’s more than he used to be. In addition, certain July issues will receive special “portrait” variant covers featuring characters to whom “Apex Lex” makes the ultimate offer. These covers will be printed on cardstock with minimal trade dress, presenting the art in a bold, dynamic setting and carry an increased cover price ($1 extra) over the standard version.

ACTION COMICS/EVENT LEVIATHAN

Beginning with the “Leviathan Rises” storyline in Action Comics #1007, Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Epting continue to explore the DCU’s clandestine world of espionage and terrorism. The organization known as Leviathan continues to remove competitors from the playing field while its ultimate purpose (and the person behind it) remains unknown.

In DC’s Year of the Villain #1, Batgirl and Green Arrow dive further into this mystery in a story featuring a moody style reminiscent of a spy thriller (courtesy of artist Alex Maleev), where offers are made and suspicions about the identity of Leviathan are raised. Fans can follow the ongoing mystery in Action Comics #1010 (April 24), #1011 (May 11) and Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1 (May 29) before the DCU’s greatest sleuths and detectives join forces to thwart this full-blown threat as the six-issue event Leviathan miniseries begins on June 12.

BATMAN: CITY OF BANE

It’s going to be a long hot summer for the Dark Knight as well, courtesy of Tom King and Tony S. Daniel as “City of Bane” begins Batman #75, on sale July 17. This extra-sized anniversary issue kicks off a new multi-part storyline tying together all the threads of the first 74 issues of Tom King’s epic Batman run.

Bane’s minions have moved into Gotham City, taken control and rule with an iron fist; and they aren’t above rounding up any rogue villains that aren’t ready to get with the program. Meanwhile Batman is nowhere to be found – at least not the Batman that anyone knows. And if Gotham City is already under Bane’s thumb, what kind of offer can Lex Luthor make him, and will he accept?

DC’s Year of the Villain #1 is a specially priced $0.25, 32-page one shot available Wednesday, May 1 and is a great kickoff to Free Comic Book Day Saturday, May 4.

Review: The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

Ripped from Batman’s greatest nightmares, the Grim Knight is his world’s most dangerous vigilante, unafraid to use any weapon and go to any lengths to stop those whom he deems worthy of death. Trained with the finest arsenal Wayne money can buy, learn the secret origin of the second-deadliest Batman, hand selected by the Batman Who Laughs to bring his dark plans to fruition.

One of the things that stands out from The Batman Who Laughs miniseries is the newest corrupted Batman, the Grim Knight. This is a Batman who will use guns and is brutally efficient. Writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV deliver an origin issue pulling back the curtain on what made this deadly Batman.

The issue splits between acting as a flashback origin issue and a tie-in to The Batman Who Laughs miniseries. We learn what created this version of Batman as well as his war on crime. We also learn that maybe he’s not quite as indestructible as we think he is showing this is a character who can, and has, been beat. It’s an interesting reveal and delivers something we haven’t seen with some of the other dark multiverse Batmen that we’ve been introduced to.

The origin story itself is the expected spin on what we’ve seen before and there’s enough differences to make it interesting. That history and how it’s driving his actions now, plus the fact that he can be stopped, all create something different from the different Batmen we’ve already been introduced to. It’s yet another new spin and one that really works.

The art by Eduardo Risso with color by Dave Stewart and lettering by Sal Cipriano is fantastic. The styles switch between the present and the past and both are fantastic to look at. There’s an almost painted aspect to the past imagery giving it a haunting feel about it. The use of the blues and grays juxtaposed with the red of blood is eye catching.

The issue is a good one and one and delivers a character I want to see more of. We’re shown a Batman who isn’t just flawed but also isn’t invincible. We see him being defeated which gives us something we don’t see too often when it comes to the character. The dark multiverse shook things up and we can still be surprised with something new like this. A solid addition to the world Scott Snyder is building and he and Tynion deliver a fantastic chapter in The Batman Who Laughs’ tale.

Story: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Art: Eduardo Risso Color: Dave Stewart Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Justice League Dark #9

Justice League Dark #9

(W) James Tynion IV (A/CA) Alvaro Eduardo Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez
In Shops: Mar 13, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Doctor Fate has assembled his Lords of Order, and it means certain destruction for the Justice League Dark! As Doctor Fate traps the magical community on Earth, the team fights against the Otherkind. The walls are closing in on them, and they’ll need to find a way to stop Fate if there’s any hope for magic’s survival!

Justice League Dark #9

Preview: The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

(W) Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV (A) Eduardo Risso (CA) Jock
In Shops: Mar 13, 2019
SRP: $4.99

Ripped from Batman’s greatest nightmares, the Grim Knight is his world’s most dangerous vigilante, unafraid to use any weapon and go to any lengths to stop those whom he deems worthy of death. Trained with the finest arsenal Wayne money can buy, learn the secret origin of the second-deadliest Batman, hand selected by the Batman Who Laughs to bring his dark plans to fruition. This one-shot has a big 28-page story!

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

Preview: Justice League #18

Justice League #18

(W) James Tynion IV (A) Pasqual Ferry (CA) Francis Manapul
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 20, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The Legion of Doom returns as the history of the Legionnaires Club is revealed! Lex Luthor’s mysterious connection to this ancient secret society runs deeper than even his Legion of Doom comrades ever suspected, and his secrets threaten to destroy everything. A blood connection to the dark underbelly of the DCU’s history bubbles to the surface in this epic, villainous tale.

Justice League #18

DC Reveals the Creative Lineup for Detective Comics #1000

DC Comics has unveiled full story details on the landmark 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, debuting on March 27, 2019. The 96-page Detective Comics #1000 celebrates the Dark Knight through a series of seven-to-nine-page standalone short stories from an all-star collection of the top writers and artists in Batman’s recent history including Tom King, Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, Warren Ellis and Becky Cloonan and more.

The full lineup of stories, writers and artists to be featured in Detective Comics #1000 is:

“Medieval,” by Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke

Appearing in DC’s comic book continuity for the very first time, a new and mysterious version of the Arkham Knight will be debuting in a story that looks at Batman’s encounters with his villains throughout his career through the Arkham Knight’s eyes—but the Knight’s scheme remains to be seen.

“Batman’s Longest Case,” by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

One of the most popular talent teams in the history of the Dark Knight delivers a tale in which Batman follows clues around the world, leading him back to his home in Gotham City and to a secret organization that has been keeping tabs on him for years.

“Manufacture for Use,” by Kevin Smith and Jim Lee

The fan-favorite director of Clerks and one of Batman’s most visionary artists present a story that cuts between Batman fighting his greatest villains and his attempts to track down the gun that killed his parents.

“The Legend of Knute Brody” by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs and John Kalisz

The villains of Gotham speak, documentary-style, about that one henchman they each hired who was the absolute WORST at his job, constantly screwing up their plans.

“The Batman’s Design” by Warren Ellis and Becky Cloonan

Warren Ellis pens “The Batman’s Design” with Becky Cloonan, the first woman to draw Batman in the main comic series, in a story of Batman pursuing a pack of technologically enhanced mercenaries into a warehouse, where they think they’ve trapped him.

“Return to Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neil and Steve Epting

A direct sequel to O’Neil’s classic “There Is No Hope in Crime Alley,” from Detective Comics #457, in which Leslie Thompkins takes Batman to task for his addiction to violence, which, in her mind, perpetuates the horror that birthed him.

“Heretic” by Christopher Priest and Neal Adams

Two of the biggest powerhouse writers and artists in the comic book industry work together on a story featuring Batman helping a young man escape from Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins— who then turned up in Gotham, dead. Batman travels to Tibet with a message for the League.

“I Know” by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

The creative team behind SCARLET takes a unique future look at Batman and the Penguin. The Penguin comes to an elderly, wheelchair-bound Batman to tell him of the time that he learned Batman was Bruce Wayne—and to explain why he never did anything with that information. This story is available to read in its entirety on DCComics.com.

“The Last Crime in Gotham” by Geoff Johns and Kelley Jones

Superstar writer Geoff Johns and famed artist Kelley Jones tell a future story where the future family of Batman and Catwoman face off in a battle with the family of The Joker and Harley Quinn.

“The Precedent” by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez

The team of James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez return to DETECTIVE COMICS after their highly successful Rebirth run, in a story of the night Bruce Wayne made the decision to bring Dick Grayson into his dark world, ending with the classic candlelight oath.

“Batman’s Greatest Case” by Tom King, Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones

Groundbreaking BATMAN writer Tom King is joined by Tony Daniel and Joëlle Jones, who share artistic duties on the story. Presented using parallel story threads, Bruce Wayne visits his parents’ grave while Batman assembles his entire coalition of allies around him.

In addition to the above stories, Detective Comics #1000 will feature additional art from Mikel Janín and Amanda Conner, as well as a two-page spread from Jason Fabok depicting the current state of the Batman universe and its heroes and villains.

To further celebrate the Caped Crusader’s 80-year legacy, Detective Comics #1000 will offer an extensive retailer variant cover program. Hard-core collectors will want to get their hands on this series of variant covers showcasing the Dark Knight through various decades from iconic Batman artists such as Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock and Greg Capullo—plus an homage to Jerry Robinson’s cover of November 1942’s Detective Comics #69 by Bruce Timm.

This 96-page oversize collector’s edition issue will be available at comics retailers and digitally on March 27, 2019, for $9.99.

Detective Comics #1000

Third Time’s a Charm for Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The 80th anniversary of Batman collides with the 35th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this May as DC Publishing and IDW Publishing today announced plans for Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, a stunning six-issue conclusion to the smash-hit crossover trilogy. 

James Tynion IV reunites with artist Freddie E. Williams II and colorist Jeremy Colwell for this final chapter starring Gotham’s Dark Knight and New York’s Heroes in a Half Shell. Kevin Eastman will illustrate variant covers for the series and, as he did in collaboration with Williams II on 2017’s Kamandi Challenge, contribute interior artwork at a pivotal point in the new run.

In the first two blockbuster volumes, our heroes battled the evil of the Foot Clan in Gotham and then went head-to-head with Bane in New York. But now, in the third and biggest chapter, Krang has gotten his hands on the most dangerous technologies in the DC Universe—and no universe is safe from his wrath!

Fans of the comic series will see the Dark Knight continue to fight like never before with wall-to-wall ninja action in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IIIbeginning May 1, 2019.

Also announced this week by Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Entertainment, DC Entertainment and Nickelodeon is Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an all-new animated movie arriving on 4K, Blu-ray and Digital later this spring, based on Tynion IV and Williams II’s first volume of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

DC is Forever Evil as 2019 is the Year of the Villain

DC Comics is taking advantage of Free Comic Book Day by releasing DC’s Year of the Villain on Wednesday, May 1 for only 25 cents. DC’S Year of the Villain spotlights several of DC’s most infamous super-villains, in stories written by celebrated authors Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Brian Michael Bendis

The 32-page comic will feature art from Eisner Award-winning illustrator Alex Maleev, Jim Cheung, and Francis Manapul, with an original cover by acclaimed artist Greg Capullo. Hardcore fans will also want to contact their local comics retailer right away to check availability of any one of three beautiful variant covers by Maleev (Lex Luthor) and Cheung (the Batman Who Laughs), as well as popular cover artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau (the Cheetah). 

Following the events of Snyder and Tynion’s Justice League, Lex Luthor takes a major step forward,  assembling his Legion of Doom for the final push to replace Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the League as the rightful leaders of not only mankind, but the universe itself, hoping to harness the power of Perpetua, the first being to be imprisoned within the Source Wall, now newly freed in the events of Justice League Annual #1. Perpetua’s storyline and Luthor’s plans to rid the universe of heroes will continue to escalate throughout the rest of 2019. 

Snyder continues this plague of villainy through his fan-favorite character the Batman Who Laughs. Fans should pay close attention to the current six-issue miniseries, as the events of the final issue will continue to play out in this pre-FCBD issue, leading into a master plan revealed in a to-be-announced new series debuting this summer. 

Fans of Superman and Action Comics will also have plenty to look forward to in this issue, particularly those following the “Leviathan Rising” story arc beginning with issue #1007. Bendis and Maleev will kick off a new status quo in DC’s dark world of espionage and terrorism; the repercussions of this new order will have major ramifications for the Man of Steel this Summer. 

And in case you thought the Dark Knight would be getting off easy, guess again: DC’S Year of the Villain will also contain clues to Batman’s upcoming battle with the villains of Gotham in “City of Bane,” also slated to begin this summer.

DC’S Year of the Villain
DC’S Year of the Villain Artgerm Cheetah Variant
DC’S Year of the Villain Maleev Variant
DC’S Year of the Villain Cheung Batman Who Laughs Variant
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